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    Identity & self reflection: Who are you

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    This is the question again.
    ---Who are you? Is there more to this fleshy casing? What makes you who you are?
    Write a 5 page letter to Ernest Becker explaining who you think you are.
    ---Use at least three quotes from the photocopied chapter "The Inner World" from his book The Birth and Death of Meaning.

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    Solution Preview

    The context in which Becker writes is a discussion of self-esteem. He thinks that self-esteem is fundamental to mental health and successful functioning in society. Fair enough, but the question that arises with talk about self-esteem is, what is this self about which we're to hold in some level of esteem? We could also ask why the self arguably needs to, for lack of better words, 'feel good,' but that is not really pertinent to the more fundamental question. In fact, answering that question relies on answering the first question first!

    Becker writes, "But man is not just a blind glob of idling protoplasm, but a creature who lives in a world of symbols and dreams and not merely matter. His sense of self-worth is constituted symbolically, his cherished narcissism feeds on symbols, on the abstract idea of his own worth, an idea composed of sounds, ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution, while related to another post in terms of the nature of the questions stands alone on its own in terms of the academic help it can provide to students studying Becker and his ideas in relation to identity, self-knowledge and reflection. Based on Becker's work 'The birth and death of Meaning', thjis solution focuses on tackling the particular chapter of the 'inner world' to helpo the student answer the question 'Who are you?'.